I love a good surprise, what girl doesn’t? Wrap it in colorful shiny paper, put a raffia bow on it or, in this case, just bring it to me in a paper bag. The generous gift giver was our server at Francis Ford Coppola’s new restaurant, Rustic. After filling our water glasses he placed a small, tightly closed, white paper bag in the middle of the table. The oil stains on the outside was evidence of its potentially greasy contents. Being that we were newbies, an explanation was in order. Tucked inside were Pettole, nuggets of golden deep-fried bread. Common in Puglia, they are made from a basic yeast dough, dropped into piping hot oil and cooked until lightly browned. They can then be transformed into a savory side or sweet dessert, Rustic simply salts them and delivers them still warm. You probably shouldn’t do the calorie count on these innovative eats, but just know that they are worth every one.

Innovative Eats is a series featuring unique dishes at restaurants from around the world that are worthy of adding to your Bucket List.